ceiling rose

My life in some ways has been blighted by a propensity to take things literally. It happened again just yesterday when my wife said, “While you’re out don’t forget to buy that Victorian Ceiling Rose will you?”

I was minded to ask, ‘What Victorian Ceiling Rose’ yet thought the better of it.  “Of course dear…I won’t be long…catch you in a bit.” 

Plainly even a fool like me is aware that there are many, many types of woody perennials of the genus Rosa yet in all truth I had never heard of the Victorian Ceiling variety. Still as I made my way to the garden centre I felt sure that the nice (well very nice if the truth be told) gal who works there would point me in the right direction.

“I say young lady I see you have many varieties of rose in stock from climbing versions to shrub roses, hybrids and even miniature ones yet I cannot spot the Victorian Climbing Rose my wife has sent me on a mission to purchase. Could you point me in the right direction please?” 

“Certainly Sir…may I suggest you pop along to the builders merchants up the road, they have them.” 

“The builders merchants are stocking flowers now are they…bet you’re not too keen on the competition?” 

“Sir a Ceiling Rose is but a decorative plaster moulding affixed to the ceiling from which a chandelier or light fitting is often suspended…not a flower!”

Obviously I felt rather embarrassed and took of my leave in an instant. £65 later I returned home with the Victorian Ceiling Rose. All was well.

However this event (a true story by the way) reminded me a similar misunderstanding twixt my youngest son and I a few years ago when he was likely 15 or 16 years old. You see he also takes things literally!


To my son who takes things literally

Unto him I did once say

“Could you be a good chap

And recycle our waste today? 


All you have to do son

Is chuck it out the front”

I presumed he knew that the bin was there

For in the affirmative he did grunt


Yet to my great horror

I spotted the lad outside

Emptying our food waste

About the lawn and on the drive


Outside a gale was howling

Around our hilltop home

And peelings of potato

And such like they were blown


Far and wide all down the street

In truth such was the mess

That I was fearful of litigation

And in a state of some distress


“Why did you do that?” I enquired

“Do what?” he said, quite blunt

And anyway he added

“You told me to ‘chuck’ it out the front!”  


And thus it was I turned to

St John’s Wort to help me cope

And contemplate the point

Is there any fucking hope?


I have previously posted this particular verse a couple of years ago when I first commenced this blogging malarkey.




  1. My son’s the same way. Except I suspect he knows to only take me so literally when it will drive me up a wall. (Not literally.)

  2. LOL!!! This so reminded me of the time we said to a gentleman doing some garden work for us,,,,, that is apiece of waste ground there, just, you know, dispose of the clods of grass there and the next thing was the police were at the door….

      1. Well… I dunno re clods but Newport on Tay was one of these kind of places Mike where obvi people and police had SOD all to do. Anyway, you may know that despite being assured we would be forgiven for thinking that shit hole was waste ground and despite the fact our lawn was conspicuously missing all these clods of grass, , I stepped up to the plate and said, ‘There is nothing to forgive. We have never seen these clods of grass before in our lives.’

      2. Quite correct…’tis a funny old world on occasions that’s for sure. Shirl – who has been this way and that with her builders and decorators of late is well into your book by the way and enjoying the same. She is keen to write a review if you want.

    1. Cheers – just downloaded that Windows 10 thing and it’s blocking the ability to reply to a comment from the thing right of the reader screen. I now have to go into the original post to reply. God works in strange ways!

    1. No. This is young George with the music degree…left handed, colour blind, dyslexic genius that he is. Fabulous bloke who takes after his wretched father on ‘literal’ issues!

      1. Sometimes I wish both he and I understood the real world…I mean I’ll die sooner rather than later yet he shouldn’t have to suffer this curse…and, yes I’m droning on I know, it is more often than not a curse. To prove my point I shall – when I get round to it – write the ‘literal’ tale of me downloading Windows 10 today…a cameo of pathetic lunacy!

  3. There is a data structure definition language called XSD. I was introduced to it by an instructor who said, “this is a language for the painfully literal.” That was the half of it.

    1. XSD – perhaps I should Google it? Seriously it is a curse…yet rather fun when the wife (once she gets over the trauma of me fucking up again that is) explains it all to me…and her/our son…and occasionally the both of us!

    1. I worked that out funnily enough when you wrote about how to lay out a book a while ago – i.e. when to use italics etc. ! It struck a chord – even though I force myself away from such things they are constantly nagging at me.

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